About Me

Bountiful, Utah
We are the Ta'atiti family. Originally from Lotopa, Samoa (Anthony) and Nuuuli, American Samoa (me). We are living in Bountiful for the time being and we are loving it here. Sina is our one and only princess. This blog is for her in hopes that she will treasure her heritage and the memories of her family.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Subsiding...

samoan culture at its finest


mountain pass right before Vatia village in Am Samoa

I just had to post something really quickly about the tragedy in Samoa and how much it has had an effect on me. It has been really difficult to think of all that has happened back home and not feel downhearted and depressed about it. Just this last week those feelings were beginning to subside, though the sadness I feel for those that lost family members, esp children continues.

As we celebrated Sina's 3rd birthday, I realize even more how much of a blessing she is in our lives and how privileged we are to have her. Just to imagine that I could wake up tomorrow and not have her because of some tragedy of nature that no one has any control over is really something I cannot fathom. My heart goes out to all moms that lost their little ones. I hope that time can heal their hearts. I also realized that its during times like these that I really, really understand why the plan of salvation is so important and why we need answers to life's questions that so many people in the world lack knowledge of. I'm grateful that I have a knowledge and testimony of these things. I find that life is easier to bear because of that faith.



Faamanuia le Atua Samoa....



Monday, September 21, 2009

Waking Up in Vegas!

This past weekend Anthony and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in the city that literally never sleeps - Las Vegas! We left Bountiful at noon on Friday after giving Sina a million kisses because we are suckers when we have to be away from Sina for more than a day. We arrived in Las Vegas at about 5:30 and checked in to the Grandview Hotel on Las Vegas Blvd. When we got to our room the first thing I noticed was the awesome living room with flat screen TV and then the bedroom with a jaccuzi tub....aahh...it seriously was like a dream. This was the fanciest hotel we had ever stayed in. Usually our hotel stays consist of six people in a two bedroom room with everyone camping on the floor!! haha...love that about my family...we have too much fun together...



So after checking the place out we decided to give the jacuzzi tub a try...so awesome!! After hanging out for a little bit we decided to get some dinner. We cruised down Las Vegas Blvd and found a Popeye's chicken. I haven't had Popeye's since my mission. We decided to save our elaborate anniversary dinner for the next night while we splurge on chicke and red beans and rice. My childhood friend,Alvin Pritchard, was supposed to meet up with us that night, but we decided we would spend some "us" time and postponed all friends and family time until Saturday. We ended up spending the night in our hotel room "watching movies" ;)



Saturday was awesome. We got to spend time with Alvin and his whole family. We chatted for a few hours reminiscing about the good old days. We ended up going back to the hotel and swimming in the very cool waterfall pool! We ended the night by going to the Aloha bar with Serine and her huband Daryll. It was such a blast!! We sang karaoke after getting drunk off of water and cokes...we sang some Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill...just like old times! That night we ate dinner at the famous Rio Buffet. It was hands down the best buffet I have ever been to. We look forward to going there again next month on our way to San Diego. The Hawaiian coconut ice cream and eclairs were to die for!

Needless to say, we didn't sleep much the whole time we were there. We checked out of our hotel at 10 am and started our trek back to good old SLC. The anniversary was the perfect vacation and just the break we needed from life. It is good to be back now and to be with our Sina and mom and the family.

These past two years we have made time to take short weekend vacations and I have become a firm believer in taking advantage of opportunities in life to get out and enjoy family and friends because we only live once and since turning 30 I realize I am not getting any younger...so I look foward to many more of these weekend getaways!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

another milestone

I just had to note that Sina used the toilet for the first time last Saturday - Sept 5th! She thought she was a big girl...no diaper, getting the toilet paper all by herself....I just knew she would do it when she was ready....My lil' girl is growing up!!!

week 1 successfully completed

So the daily journal thing isn't working out too well, but the past 4 days have been amazing!

**Thursday**
Zumba dance class kicked butt. It is well worth the $5 I sacrifice for lunch. Looking forward to doing this every Tues and Thurs

**Friday**

Upper body workout - 1hr 2 mins
FLYS
PULL DOWNS
ARM CURLS
TRICEPS
SHOULDER LIFTS

**Saturday**
No Zumba. 20 mins intensity on elliptical machine with a 5 min cool down

**Sunday - FREE DAY **
Ate whatever I wanted and rested from the workouts

**Monday**
Lower body again - this time with intensity level crunches
Calves were straining from last Wed, but it feels dang good

WEEK 1 is completed....the hard part is over now for CONSISTENCY!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

body for life...

It has been 3 days since I started hitting the gym again and getting on a 'good' eating plan. It took some very depressing recent family portraits to make me realize that "it is time".

** Tuesday 9/1/09***
Cardio - 20 mins on the elliptical machine (intensity level workout)

**Wednesday 9/2/09***
Lower Body -
Leg lifts
Hamstring lifts
Calf raises
Crunches and leg lifts

**Thursday 9/3/09**
Cardio - potential "Zumba" dance class

I'm keeping an on-going log of workout and meal activities. As extra motivation I will try to keep a daily journal of it all right here....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

we are blessed

After all my ranting about being burnt out, I feel like I should share how blessed we've been this past month. Geez...where to begin....

Last time Brian was in town (Brian is my palagi brutha from another mother) he recommended we see a vascular specialist for mom's back and leg pains. It took a good 2 months to get an appt, but we finally went in for some testing. We were happy to find out that she does NOT have any vascular issues, but the pain may be due to pinched nerves in the back that come from old age, etc. We are going to see a back specialist in 2 weeks for an MRI and hopefully a miracle shot to help her stand straight and relieve some of the pain.

About two weeks ago I decided that it was time to see an OBGYN to see if we can get Sina a little brother or sister. Anthony and I are due to see Dr. Irian on Sept 25th. I'm nervous of any bad news, but excited to see what we can do to "get this party started". haha...hopefully its nothing too drastic. Anthony is praying for his son and I wouldn't mind that too much.

August is coming to a close and with it all of the summer activities we had with the youth in our ward. Starting with youth conference, stake girls camp, Raging Waters, mutuals, YW medallions, the banquet to honor the medallion recipients, and the back to school fireside, not to mention the sleepovers, new presidencies and trainings - the summer was a tad busy! It will be nice to mellow out for a while. Though it has been stressful at times, I feel extremely blessed for the time we spend and the sacrifices that are made for our callings in the church. I know the blessings far surpass the hardships and trials, though sometimes I only realize it when I sit and think about what all the Lord has done for us...we could never repay Him really, but we try by magnifying our callings and helping to build His church here.

About 3 weeks ago we received a surprise in the mail. To make a long story short, about a year and a half ago I submitted all of Anthony's paperwork to the Immigration to adjust his status to a permanent resident. In a nutshell, he was approved to stay in the US, but denied the permanent residence until I changed my status from US national to US citizen. We were devastated at the time because of all the money that was spent and how much money was to be spent on more paperwork. I even did all of the research myself and filed all of the papers myself to save money by not having to hire a lawyer. Well, about 2 months ago I finally submitted my citizenship papers. When the immigration received them, they overturned their decision on Anthony's permanent residence and granted it to him. We didn't have to spend more money, we didn't have to do another interview or anything. He got his card in the mail last Thursday. It was an amazing feeling to finally have that past us. What a relief! In addition to that, when Anthony told Chris (the boss) that he got his PR card to replace his work permit that just expired, he got a raise....not sure if it was a gesture of congratulations or if it was a desperate plea to stay with the company...whatever it was...we are happy!

Finally, my brother Mani was with us this past weekend. He flew in on Saturday, helped me with my YW banquet and sang at our youth fireside. We stayed up all night Saturday playing games and then again on Sunday night jamming with the uke and guitar just like old times. We went to Raging Waters on Monday and had FHE at Crazy Buffet. He flew back yesterday after one last game of Mexican Train. It was sad to say goodbye. Its so nice to have my brothers visit, but hard when its time to for them to leave.

Just had to take a moment to name a FEW of the many blessings we have received this year. I don't have time to update the blog as often as I would like to so I think I will start a generic post entitled "Sina update" so that I can post things new about Sina.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SLUMBER PARTY / CONGRATS NEPHI!!!

This last weekend was a blast. Saturday we were able to help Fua and Belle move to their new house closer to the Bountiful temple. Sulu and Pe'e lucked out by getting the sectional couch they had in their family room. They finally have furniture and people can visit! Yay!

Later that day, Cine and Sa came over with the girls and we hung out in the pool. Sina and Leka have no fear of the water - jumping in the deep end, swimming from one end to the other and Sina giving her uncle instructions on how to hold your breathe under water...nice!

After watching La Bamba on TV we decided to play Mexican Train. Needless to say, yours truly prevailed AGAIN to hold tight to the title of Mexican Train Champion. That all ended at about 2 in the morning...so much fun!

Church on Sunday seemed extra special. I walked in to YW's after sunday school expecting to see a few girls and then having to round up everyone else like I usually do, but that was not the case that day. I walked in and ALL my girls were sitting in two straight lines with folded arms and it was actually QUIET! That in of itself was AMAZING! They teach me so much and I really am grateful to have this calling.

Later that night Fua and Belle and the kids came by to drop off some extra blankets they had at their house. We were hanging out at Sulu' house and ended up having a slumber party there. We stayed up talking stories and clowning on each other. We drank koko Samoa with bread. We didn't get to bed until almost 3. The last thing I hear before dozing off was Sina saying "Good night Uncle", "Good night honey"....mimicking her aunty...oh my gosh...

***Nephi called us Sunday night to say that he is officially hired on with the California Corrections Dept. We are so happy and proud of Nephi and all his accomplishments. He will start his boot camp training in November and we will be cheering him on! ***

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Burnt Out . . .

The month of June seemed to come and go in a whirlwind and I find myself totally drained and exhausted. We had youth conference in the beginning of June and the Stake girls camp the last part of June in which I camped out at both activities. We even drove to St. George for Nathan's wedding in June. I have to say that I am officially burnt out. I am burnt out on life and church and everything in between and there is very little you can squeeze in between those two things.

On any other day I would feel bad saying this, but not today. I seriously have been functioning on over-drive and absolutely cannot do it anymore. So if there is anyone else out there that is feeling my pain, just know that you are not alone.

Im just happy it's the weekend for me (we don't work on Fridays) and that I can relax when I get home. Even with 3 day weekends I haven't managed to recuperate from the June slump. I do have to say that the one thing that I recently discovered that is keeping me somewhat sane is the game Farmville on facebook. It's just a stupid game where you grow crops and sell them, but I find myself worrying about my wheat and eggplants dying on me. I know it's totally lame-o, but it actually brings a smile to my face when I see the purple buds starting to sprout. I promise I have not lost my mind....yet...

And of course Sina always makes me smile. When she wants me to watch Barney with her she will come and grab my hand and say "sit here mommy...watch barney". And then before we sleep at night she makes me sing all the songs from Barney, Little Einsteins, and Berenstain Bears. I love watching her sing along and she knows all the words! So amazing.... I just have to ask sometimes, How can she be so smart? But then again...I AM her mom! (hahahaha....howz that for conceit)

Just talking about her makes me smile. Gee...I'm feeling better already. This blog thing is awesome! Alrighty...gotta go check on the farm.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Naumati Lagona

My family and I have always had a love for Samoan music. Recently I decided to compile a book of Samoan lyrics and so far I have about 42 songs. I came across an oldie originally done by The Five Stars called "Naumati Lagona" and I absolutely love it. The Samoan version is so melodic, but I found that my English interpretation of it is just as deep. I love this song - it is so touching!

Naumati Lagona

Naumati lagona mamao foi lou aiga
Toa le aisa oona foi le uaina
Mafana le mafutaga o oe le tausala
Faigata mea uma ua goto i le vaa
Fia fau se fale lelei mo oe
Talofa leai o se kamuta o totoe

Aisea na le tuua ai se tasi?
Pogisa mea uma, pogisa mea uma i le maasiasi

Talanoa I manatu ua ta mafana
Lilo I le loto, e ese lou agaga
Ita e, ua mao manatu atu
E le afaina, e tata pea lou fatu
E onosai pea foi si ou nei tagata
Faamagalo le tuinanau o ou nei mata

Aisea na le tuua ai se tasi?
Pogisa mea uma, pogisa mea uma i le maasiasi

(My amateur translation - don't laugh)

Wrenching feelings, so far from family
The water has frozen over and wine is bitter
The warmth in the love of our relationship
All is difficult now that my ship has gone down
I wanted to build you a mansion
Sadly, there were none left to build it

Why did you not leave me a single thing?
All is darkness, all is darkness from the shame

Supposed thoughts of a warm relationship
Unknown to my soul, your heart was not the same
Instinctively, I expressed my love for thee
Despite it all, my heart continues to beat
Patience is what I will try
Forgive the longing desire of these eyes

Why did you not leave me a single thing?
All is darkness, all is darkness from the shame



Laga Savea has a modern version of this song that is off the hook. You can check it out on youtube. Lovin' it....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

remember that song?

I just had a blast from the past moment with this SWV song - "love is so amazing". How is it that I've been out of high school for over 12 years??? It doesn't seem possible. I'm pushing 30 this year. It seems like yesterday when I was in 7th grade in Peau's Science class writing in my journal "what I want to be when I grow up".......

***Troop - all i do is think of you***
***Tony Terry - when i'm with you***
***Boyz II Men - end of the road***
***Mariah Carey - vision of love***

Then there was the blur of high school that seemed to come and go in a flash. I have random memories of homecoming and prom dances, honor society "rituals" and "pep rallies" the way only high schools in Samoa can do em' . . . more like . . . only the way Tafuna High School can do em'! There was JSA where I met Rowen and Sunny and Tenney and the rest of that crazy crew. And Close-Up of course . . . how can I forget Close-Up with Kevin, Hereme, and the rest of the ghetto gang from AS - sleeping on benches in Detroit waitin' to get to DC....good times!!

***SWV - love is so amazing***
***Jade - one woman***
***Soul 4 Real - candy rain***
***DRS - gangsta lean***
***Lighter Shade of Brown - ridin low*** (this one is for Kirt)
***Paper Boy - ditty***

And then all of a sudden it was June 1997. Me in my gold cap and gown (it was more yellow than gold) bidding farewell to all the guys and gals of WARRIORSVILLE. haha...we thought life had ceased for a second there, what were we going to do now? Well, I got over that real quick when I arrived in Utah in August of that same year. I still remember the day I waved goodbye to my mom as she drove off and left me standing in front of the Benson building on the BYU campus in Provo. I remember the tears starting to well up, but then I spotted Kelcey. I felt this calm rush through me after seeing a familiar face.

The next 4 years at BYU would go something like this - Praying for a C in Chemistry, taking Calculus I twice, barely passing Physical Science (never take that in a summer term), moving in with Tammy and Nola, meeting Lia and Josh and the whole Ricks Idaho crew, driving Alex's unregistered and uninsured Bronco into the hot pots of Spanish Fork, hiking Alpine trying to find the sliding rocks, watching international films at the Kimball Tower, playing pool every weekend at the OZ, party hopping on the weekend (that was mainly JR year), spending almost every week night in the library until midnight, dancing with the Samoan club, bbq'ing with Tia and Fotu and everyone for that matter, watching Tuesday devotionals especially when it was Pres Hinkley or a member of the 12 speakin, switching majors 3 times, cleaning bathrooms in the RB for 2 whole summers, taking Christmas trips home to Samoa, stuffing our faces at Tucano's, working out every day at Gold's Gym, playing basketball with Jackie, Tammy, and Nola at the DT courts, making pancakes for all the Samoans who missed the makeki pancakes, watching faleaikus at Beth and Tammy's pad, volunteering at Slat Canyon, sending all the boys off on missions - Sei, Talaga, Kelcey, Mosi, Walter and the rest of em', meeting the prime minister of Samoa and the Pres of BYU and having lunch with them, buying my very first car - my Isuzu Rodeo (we still have it), and then finally graduating. That was BYU in a very, very small nutshell.

***Dr Dre - the whole Chronic album***
***Voices of Theory - say it***
***TLC - no scrubs***
***Destiny's Child - brown eyes***
***D'Angelo - your my lady***
***NSync - bye, bye, bye***
***Britney Spears - hit me baby one more time***
***Jay-Z - big pimpin***
***Ludacris - fantasy***
***Outkast - so fresh and so clean***
***Uncle Sam - I don't ever wanna see you again*** (this one is for Fotu :) )


So I attached some of my fave songs from the 90's on a playlist because they are making me feel really happy right now.....









Wednesday, June 3, 2009

backing up . . .Memorial weekend

I've been MIA from this for a few weeks. Over Memorial day weekend we spent a half day at the Brigham Young Heritage Park in SLC (posting pics later). We didn't plan on going there, in fact Anthony had job he was doing up by the zoo and so we decided to meet him up there. Instead, we passed by the park and decided to stop there and look around. None of us had ever been there before and so it was an amazing first time experience for all of us. Actually, I think mom might have gone there when she visited several years ago.

Anyway, my favorite part about the park was reading the monuments dedicated to the pioneers. There was a lot I didn't know, for example, I didn't know that there were Catholic priests that traveled with the pioneers. I thought that was most interesting.

One of the monuments described the pioneer trek and the many lives that were lost and also of the joys that were experienced when they first entered the valley. The spirit was really strong there and we all got teary eyed as we read of all the hardships and sacrifices that were made for the gospel of Jesus Christ. My favorite monument was the one that stands the tallest that shows Brigham Young in the moment that he says "this is the place". Although I've heard that story several times, seeing the monument made it come to life and I have a greater testimony now of living prophets and continued revelation in our day.

Our spontaneous little field trip strengethed my testimony, especially since moving here to Utah. I'm not sure if it's because it's the headquarters of the church and that it is well known as the 'mormon' state, but I find that people are a lot more critical about the church here and it can be a little disheartening at times. There are a lot of other reasons that make Utah 'different' for me, but thats another blog all it's own.

Okay, fastforwarding to last Saturday. My friend Peggy from work called me up and asked if I wanted to go to the Oquirrh temple celebration at the conference center. I had never been to one of those in Utah. In fact, the only other one I've been to was the celebration for the rededication of the Samoa temple. My mom and I decided to go with Peggy that night.

I just have to say, it was one of the most amazing things I've ever witnessed. There were nearly 7,000 youth from the temple's surrounding areas including South Jordan and Magna that performed dances from different eras. There were even some non-LDS youth that participated which I thought I was amazing. One of my favorite dances that they did was a section on Polynesia. There were about 350 youth that did poi balls, hula, and an amazing Maori haka. To see all of them be so enthusiastic about a dance and culture that is not their own made me proud to be polynesian. The girls wore cute red and blue ies tied up and around their necks. There were so many of them that they hardly fit on the conference center stage. They also performed dances from the 20's, 40's, and 50's eras. It was cute to see the poodle skirts and swing dances, especially cute to see the little beehives and deacons. We could not stop talking about it. The spirit was so strong throughout the performances.

They painted a huge backdrop of the mountains that stand behind the temple and a mountain path that lead to the top. At the very end they raised up a cardboard replica of the temple to stand at the top of the mountain. That was probably one of the most emotional moments. It was definitely a reminder of the prophecy of Isaiah that the Lord's house would be built in the tops of the mountains which went along with their theme which was "Come to the mountain of the Lord". I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to go to that. I don't know if I'll ever have another chance since those things are really hard to come by. But I know that my testimony was strengthened of eternal families and the importance of temples.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What happened last night?

Aside from my favorite FOX shows, there is little else I watch around this time of year than the NBA playoffs. My favorite team, the Sac Kings haven't seen the playoffs in like 3 years since the whole drama with Ron Artest and losing Chris Weber. He was really the only reason they climbed my favorite list. I am not quite as big a fun as I was since he left, but I don't want to be considered a fair-weather fan just because of that.

Needless to say, the Kings got jipped of their first round pick as they were predicted to get. They fell to the 5th pick with the Clippers (heaven help them) lucking out for first dibs.

Since the Kings haven't been much in the spotlight lately, I have had joy watching my other two favorite teams play in this season's playoffs: The San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavs. No, I've never lived in any of these towns or states for that matter, but the players are what determine my liking for a team. I've always had a secret love affair with Tim Duncan since he joined the league in 1997. 12 years later he is still going strong and never once left the Spurs, how bout that for loyalty. And then what can I say about Lebron James? Phenomenal. Dominant, yet a team player. Huge scorer, even bigger assistant. Can't find that in very many (hint . . . Kobe?)

With the Spurs out of the playoffs only after the first round, all my faith is now with the Cavs. So my big question is "WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?" Talk about an upset. Orlando coming back in the fourth quarter after being down the whole game to win by 1 point in the last 5 seconds. Stunning. One of the greatest come backs I've ever witnessed (Dwight Howard with the greatest shoulders I've ever seen). Total disappointment for the Cavs who managed to sweep through the first two rounds and rest 8 whole days. Too much rest? Well, they will be back on their toes I'm sure to come back and give Orlando a run for their money. I can already see this being one of the greatest playoff runs in history.


As for the Lakers...well, I'm not a huge Laker fan unless they are playing the Utah Jazz (Bottom of my least favorites list). They will no doubt make it to the finals. That is when I truly hope that the Cavs pull through and Lebron James can take his MVP trophy and shove it in Kobe's . . . well. . . his face! MVP trophy to go with an NBA championship? We can only be so hopeful . . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

new moon

New Moon is due out in theaters 11/20/09. Same weekend as last year. Cine and I will be at the first showing again - Yes, even with all the screaming, annoying little teeny boppers. I will buy my tickets a month in advance as I did last year and we will have a blast again. Sulu will probably join us this year and whoever else is interested. I found the new poster for the movie on http://www.twilightmoms.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

SURVIVOR SAMOA!







So I'm not a huge fan of this show, though I do like to watch it on occassion. It has been confirmed that the next season of SURVIVOR will be filmed this summer in SAMOA! I don't know if it's just me, but I find that dang exciting!!!


Like with anything else Samoan or Polynesian related I will definitely be watching this season just to get glimspes of "home".


Just thought I'd put that out there if you didn't already know!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

rootin' for the underdog



We are pleasantly surprised that Kris is a finalist. He is definitely the underdog given the judges remarks and their whole worship of Adam, but we are hopeful that America will pull through. Me and mom voted for Kris 4 times Tuesday night and I think our votes might have made the difference (although there were more than a million votes separarting the top 2) we are still convinced! So for all you skeptics out there...don't think your vote doesn't count because it does!!! ( yes, i know this is lame, but come on...it's American Idol!!)





TO VOTE FOR KRIS CALL 1-866-LUV-KRIS
OR
TEXT YOUR VOTE TO 8675309
If you attempt to call or text to the above #'s you are seriously lamer than I am and have no idea that I made this whole thing up myself. Texting messaging rates and sevice charges may apply. Remember to dial 1-866 and not 1-800. Get a life. Tata for now.
Disclaimer: I am not hating on Adam by any means, I still think that his version of "tracks of my tears" is still the best performance of the season by anyone, but I really like Kris's performances in the past week and I think I would be more likely to buy a Kris album over an Adam album. Just me. (I'd still buy a Matt album if he ever made one)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sick Mother's Day Weekend

I woke up early Friday morning with the intent to go to the temple with my friend Peggy from work. I was really disappointed when my alarm went off and I could barely swallow because my throat hurt so bad. I sadly had to cancel our temple trip. I slept until about 12:30 that afternoon. I thought my luck was starting to change when April passed without a sinus infection or my allergies acting up. It was too good to be true. With the weather changing it was inevitable that I would get my yearly sinus infection.

Despite all that, Anthony still took me out for dinner and a movie on Saturday. We finally checked out the Joy Luck Restaurant down the street from our house. I think it was okay. I couldn't taste any of it besides knowing what dishes were sweet and which ones were spicy. It was kind of sad actually because anyone that knows me knows that ...I LOVE FOOD!!

We watched "Wolverine" and it was okay. I think Fua's rating of a 4 out of 10 was about right. The action I would have rated a little higher, but It was a little different than what I expected. I thought it was good though. My favorite part was when he jumped in to the waterfall....uh huh!

I got some roses and a cute new purse from fashion bug. I took mom and Sulu shopping for shoes. After church, we ended the weekend with dinner at Sizzler. (Mani tried to give me a guilt trip by saying...dining out on Sunday?...really? are you trying to be agelu since you moved to Missouri....just "sdop it", as Sina would say)

Despite the grogginess, the weekend was "sick" in all definitions of the word.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BLOGGING FOR SINA . . .


Up until late last year, I had been avoiding the whole blog world. I 've never been good at writing in journals and things of this sort, so I thought it would be the same way with blogging. I've found though, that I really enjoy it. Especially on days at work when I have lots of time to kill, I can write a thing or two.

I often wonder what people are thinking when they write a blog. For me, I think about Sina. I think - "wow, I should really write about this so that Sina can read it in a few years and know about things like: when we bought our first christmas tree or when grandma came to visit or when we went to Frisco. Hopefully, if the internet is around for the rest of our lives, she'll have much more to read about.

She'll also know that her mommy and daddy were once kids too and she'll be able to laught at the silly things we did - at least she'll know about MY childhood ( I like to reminisce about the good old days). Hopefully Anthony will jump on here and write something for her every now and then. Anyway, just thought I'd take this chance to leave a message for Sina . . .

When you read this, just know that your mom and dad love you so much. You are 2 yrs and 7 months old today. You probably won't read this for another 3 or 4 years, but when you do just know that you are the most loved little girl in the world . You're mom is an innate cheez ball and your dad is the silliest, most lovable guy in the world. He cries when he watches you sleep and smiles when say things like "daddy...go weenee?" (that means swing at the playground). You are talking and saying more words now that when you say something new like ..."ooh, awesome!" or "hello, how are you?" when you imitate me or your aunty sulu, we crack up laughing and are just amazed by how smart you are.

You love to play with other kids and will willingly give up your ice cream cone when another little kid wants it (almost every time). You love to dance and you know almost every Barney song ever made. You love your cousins Koleka and Heiress and Alo too. You rarely see Nora and Veni, but you love them too.

Your grandma loves you (and secretly favors you), probably because she raised you since you came home that first day from the hospital. You were only 2 days old and you drank a whole 4 oz. bottle...you're still amazing! :) You are growing up too fast and although you are not quite potty trained yet, you know the function of a toilet and you like to pretend your using it just to flush the water down.

As you grow up, you might think your mom is a stickler and outwardly I might not show much emotion, but just know that you are the biggest blessing in my life. I knew when I first saw you that you were meant to be ours. You are stuck with me and your daddy for eternity - hows that? So when you're a teenager and you think you want cooler parents, just know that you're stuck with us.....for life, and the next!

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs, posts, messages, whatever you want to call them. They are for you. Hopefully, they'll give you a little bit of insight to your folks and to how much you are loved!

I love San Francisco


Last weekend we took a road trip up to San Francisco. Me, Anthony, Sina, and Mom braved the trek through the Lake Powell forest and survived the 12 hr trip each way. On our way there, we got stuck in a blizzard/snow storm in the mountains. That was probably one of the scariest things I've ever been through. Good thing I was driving because I would have been freaking out as a back seat driver.

My cousin Nu'u got married to her long time boyfriend and we were fortunate to celebrate with them. The last time we were in San Francisco was back in 2006 when we visited Stockton for another *uh hum* wedding. That was when Mani and Becky lived in Stockton and we saw them often. We rarely see them now since they moved to Missouri.

This trip around, Nephi and his family drove up from San Diego and met us in the city. We stayed at the Sheraton four seasons right near the airport. We all crammed in to one room - it was awesome! Just like old times. We arrived there friday morning and then headed over to Caeser Chavez to meet with the old folks so we could take our si'i. We planned on going to fisherman's warf afterward, which is a long time tradition for our family whenever we are in Frisco, but as Samoan traditions go - you can never put a time frame as to when they will end. We didn't get out of there until almost 10. So we headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night with the intent of waking early Saturday. So we got up as early as we possibly could - 11am. haha...some things never change. After the showers and the screams to get the kids ready, we finally made it out the door.

We parked in our usual spot right in front of the clam chowder stands. We started at the chocolate shop where we all shared a huge rocky road candy apple!! Yeah - how many Samoans does it take to eat a candy apple? - that day it was 3 Samoans and a Mexican. We took Sina and Alo in to the infamous Rainforest cafe where Sina freaked out at the mechanical elephants and gorillas. Now, if we want her to listen, all we have to say is "the elephant is coming" and she comes running. Who knows how long that will work. Sina and Alo had a blast playing together. Luckily, Alo will have a playmate soon as Irais is due with their 2nd baby in December. Sina will have to hold out a little longer!

We finally made it over to the chowder stands where we downed fresh fish n' chips and clam chowder bread bowls. SO GOOD! We only stayed about an hour and a half because the wedding started at 3 that day. The fisherman's wharf was definitely a highlight of the trip, as it always is. We missed Mani and Sulu this time around, but hopefully we'll do it again soon.

Nuu's wedding was beautiful. Her dress was gorgeous and I later found out, when I finally got a chance to chat with her, that they had planned it for over a year. They had their reception at this nice hall on Berkely campus. She had white satin draping from each corner of the hall to the center of the room. The band was amazing, though I have no clue what their name was. They came up from L.A. and apparently they are the best Samoan band in SoCal. They sang my favorite Samoan song "Taute". Anthony is the best dancer so we had a blast. My mom's side of the family is full of 'single ladies' so Anthony was the designated dancer, as always! Gotta love that.

Seeing Nu'u get married made me realize how old I'm getting. Nu'u is just a few years younger than me. When I was a kid, we spent a lot of summers in Daly City and I used to spend that time in Serramonte with Nu'u and her sister Susana. They lived in this ghetto house, the kind you only see in movies, that have the liquor store on the corner and where you hear gun shots and police sirens through the night. I didn't think of it at the time, but I can't belive my parents let me stay with them. haha. We did some crazy stuff, like being 9 yrs old and stealing Nuu's dad's cigarettes and climbing up on their roof to smoke them. ***Mental note - Serramonte is off limits for Sina*** We were dumb kids, but they were the best cousins I had and I have such fond memories of them. Now look at us - old married farts!

The band at the reception was so good that we stayed until 12:30 am until we got kicked out of the hall. We made that band play until they couldn't sing or play their instruments anymore. They were that good. They even sang the best rendition of "Sosefina" I've ever heard. If we ever take another trip to SoCal we have vowed to hunt them down.

We headed back Sunday afternoon to try and make it over the mountains before nightfall. We made a stop in Elko and then in Wendover before making it home. We slept 12 hours straight after that so we could recoup for the rest of the week. What's next? St. George in June for Nathan's wedding... not as far, thanks goodness, but we're looking forward to spending time together again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Motown rocks!

Last night was motown night on American Idol. I had been looking forward to it because it is my absolute favorite genre of music. Smokey Robinson was their mentor. I was obsessed with Smokey Robinson when I was a kid, along with Marvin Gaye and Lionel Ritchie. There was a time when they were all I would listen to and I knew every word of every song. So naturally, I was very excited about motown night.

I have watched almost every season of American Idol and I just have to say that this year seems to be by far the best talent they have had. To further illustrate this claim, I have to mention that out of all the years I've watched, this is the first year I have ever felt compelled to pick up my phone and vote. I have voted the last 3 weeks because that is how much I want my favorite guy to win. Even when David Archuletta who is from Utah was on last season it wasn't enough to spark my votes. There is just something about this year's talents that totally blow me away.

My favorite singer since the auditions has been Matt Giraud. What is it about this guy? He's an amazing piano player and can sing...riff...with a range out of this world. His rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" last night was off the hook! Moving from the piano to the stage was genius. He is my definite favorite to win!

Aside from Matt though, who has always been my favorite, I have to comment on Adam's rendition of Smokey Robinson's classic "tracks of my tears". All I can say is ..."What the ....???"
I was speechless through his performance. His falsetto was on point. I mean, he sang in that range almost the entire song. Amazing! It's one of my all time favorite motown songs and I'm just blown away by his arrangement and performance. Hands down my favorite performance last night...next to Matt.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

things that make me go "hmmm..."

I figure once a month updates are as good as I'm going to get on this thing. So much has happened it's hard to find a starting point. Okay, well, mom is in Hawaii. We received word the Wednesday before last that Aunty Luse passed away there. Luse was my mom's only sister. She had been diagnosed with cancer and wasn't given much time to live, but it still came as a surprise. We thought she had a few months left, at least. Mom rushed to Hawaii after only being out of surgery a little less than 2 weeks. So of course, we were concerned about mom's health, but in these situations, we couldn't not have her go. Gratefully, she is fine, though she has been bumped twice already in her attempts to fly back to Utah on her buddy pass. We're praying she makes it back by the weekend. We all miss her terribly and Sina still asks every night - "gramma?"

Well, spring came with a bang - the flu bang that is. Sulu has been sick for the last 2 weeks. We finally took her to the doctor and she was told she has bronchitis. Sina then started to get a fever last Thursday. We took her to the doctor on Friday and found that she had a throat infection. Our little apt was rapidly becoming a germ fest. I started feeling symptoms of a cold coming on yesterday, but i'm steadily trying to fight it off with Sudafed and lots of juice. Anthony is holding strong and hasn't shown any signs of sickness yet (knock on wood). Heaven forbid that happen because he's worse than Sina when he's sick. I'm beginning to think it's a 'man' thang. My dad was the same way. So why is it when we women are sick we can still take on the world, take care of the kids, make dinner, clean the house, and deal with our own sickness without even the dog knowing we are sick? It's just one of those things that always made me go "hmmm...."

Last Friday "Twilight" was released and there were release parties all over the country. Sulu and I went to the Blockbuster in Bountiful where luckily there were only about 30 people in the store and we didn't have to wait in the cold!! We bought the 2 disc deluxe version. haha! We watched that thing til 4 in the morning, it was so much fun. It's funny how easily entertained and amused I've become over the years. Another one of those things that makes me go "hmmm..."

Well, it's about time to head home. Tonight is 'motown' night on American Idol and I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. I'll probably blog about it tomorrow...."hmmm...."

p.s. Congratulations to Shawny and her cute little munchkin!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

DOWN TIME

I brought my mom to Lakeview hospital this morning for a routine hysterectamy. This is the first major surgery anyone in our family has ever had. Anthony and Pe'e gave her a blessing last night as we had to be at the hospital this morning by 6 am. It's been 7 hours since the successful surgery and mom is now sleeping off the anesthesia.

I am sitting on the couch next to her bed. It's been nice and quiet and quite uneventful. The only things I brought with me this morning to keep me company were a pillow and my scriptures. I read for about an hour, which I haven't done in who knows how long. It was almost like reading for the first time, especially because I was reading from my new set of scriptures. The old set I've had for almost 10 years. My dad bought them for me when he came to visit me in college one year. The pages are thinned and colored. With that set I memorized verses, visualized passages when I couldn't remember references, margined with thoughts and feelings while in the mtc, and it was this big blue set of scriptures that I used while bearing testimony to the many baptist preachers of Mississippi. It's sentimental value to me is indescribable, but with all the markings and all the colors, it was almost impossible to write new experiences and new feelings.

One day I told Anthony that if he ever wanted to buy me a gift - for whatever reason, he could buy me a new set of scriptures. Of all days, I never expected it to come on Valentines day. My sweetheart gave me a new set of scriptures to be filled with new experiences and new colors. I can't help but think of Elder Oaks when he said that when it comes to the Book of Mormon, it's not the book that changes, but the reader. I feel that true in my life right now. Instead of reading as a missionary or single adult, I am now reading as a mother and as a wife. The familiar passages have new meaning to me in this chapter of my life. It reassures my testimony of the gospel and of Christ and I'm grateful for it.

It's been a while since I've been able to sit for hours and read or meditate. As I watch my mom sleeping I am grateful for the truth of eternal families and though dad isn't here physically he sees and loves her from the other side. I rarely blog about spiritual things or experiences, but I just had to today. I am so grateful for the scriptures and I just had to share that.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

9 WORDS WOMEN USE

I got this in an email and just had to share it with everyone....

9 WORDS WOMEN USE . . .

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)


(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying...Go to H...

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

MY SOJU

I haven't had much time to blog lately because I've been so busy at work. Although we have 2 computers at home, it's impossible to get online - Anthony working on one and mom, well...mom glued to her korean dramas. So I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of all the korean soaps and filipino movies mom has been raving about. But then I decided...if I can't beat em', join em'! I started watching with my mom a few weeks ago and now I'm totally addicted too. I recently found out, while watching "love letter" that "SOJU" is a korean type of alcohol. So I've decided that the korean dramas are like my soju right now. totally addicting! I think it's the clean, wholesome quality that I really like. You get the cute romantic comedies without all the dirt. It's hard to find that these days - especially in American movies, so it's a really nice change. For anyone that wants to check it out, I recommend "My Girl", "Winter Sonata", and "Full House" to start off with. The best site to watch them free is mysoju.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Well, it's 2009. The numbers seem to change, but the days and nights stay the same. We're already half way through January, which tells me this year is going to fly by, maybe even faster than last year.

I keep thinking nothing much has changed in the new year, but when I really think about it, things change every day. With my mom here, we've developed an obsession for Korean soap operas and Filipino movies. I never thought we'd go through such a conversion to Asian pop culture, but I guess we're just as bad as the rest of em'.

Anthony and my mom are at the tail end of 'stairway to heaven' which is an overly dramatic Korean soap, but boy...does it appeal to the emotions. In the last two weeks we've watched 'you are my destiny' and 'full house'. I just have to say American soaps have nothing on those "koleas".

Sina has changed a lot in the last year as well. From her wobbly steps to now twirling and tumbling off our couches...she has become quite a handful. Her favorite words are now "gramma", "sowwy", "oops", "pupu", "dawwy", "wah wah" this means sesame street - don't ask me why, but I think it's because in the beginning of the show big bird sings "wah wah wah") "bawny" which is Barney, of course, "dop it" (stop it)and her most favorite word - "NO!!!" (with that much exclamation to it). Every day she shows something new, grows an inch taller, hair gets longer, temper seems shorter, but she's so much fun. I look forward to seeing her every day and watching her grow. She's been more than spoiled since grandma and aunty showed up, but we're having a blast. She really does light up our lives with her spirit.

Another change is that Sulu and her husband are living here now as well. She just started working at ACS while Pe'e is pending his FEDEX application. Though we're packed like sardines in our little place, we stay happy and we are enjoying each other's company. This is a huge change from exactly a year ago when we first moved in to our apt. Today, last year, was our 3rd day in our apt. All we had was the bed from Aunty Ivoga, the love sack from Fua that served as a couch/daybed, and the flat screen TV from rent-a-center. Wow...that was a depressing time. Anthony out of work, me working two jobs, tired and cranky all the time. Sina just being Sina....

When I look at it over a year span I can't help but appreciate all the changes...the progression, and the milestones we have met. It makes me try to count all our blessings when I realize they are countless. The people that have helped us through -Aunty Ivoga with her love and hospitality, Sa and Cine and their uncompromising charity were always there for us - thanks for the dining set guys! And of course Fua and Belle who supplied lots of laughs and fun times not to mention our first makeshift couch - we'll never part with it!

I wouldn't be able to talk about chance without mentioning the changes that have happened in our own little family. Anthony has become a loving father and a wonderful husband. He still drives me nuts with his crazy antics, but I can't help but love him more every day. That has to be one of the best changes of this past year - growing as a family. We also joined a new ward - the Vaiola ward. At first I was really hesitant about the ward and the members, but after serving in primary and now being in the YW, I have really grown to love the people and it has helped my testimony of the gospel grow.

I guess change really is inevitable. I used to hate the thought of change, now I can't help but look forward to it. It just means new experiences, new growth, and new appreciation for life. Changes make us who we are as long as we take the good with the bad and live for the progression of it all.

I just felt compelled to reflect as I look ahead to the new year. More goals, more things to accomplish, more milestones to meet. Such is life, I'm just glad I have wonderful people to share it with.